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This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorised duplication is prohibited.


Stitches

I still remember the first time I ever saw him. It was one un-fine October day. Just some crappy afternoon where the only interesting thing happening, were parents sending their kids out to take candy from strangers.

I didn't like sweets, and found myself content to sit on a lonely swing watching the freaks walk by. It was then that I saw him. He had caught my eye. At the time I think it was just my un-evolved, sixteen year old lizard brain picking out the hot kids. Now in hindsight, I know why I noticed him.

He was alone. All the other kids ran around in a squalling flock, shoving each other playfully, shouting curse-interspaced babble, but he was alone. And instead of a smile, he wore sorrow, limping a little too long, the makeup bruises on his face a little too real.

He was a hot little brown-haired teen, that much visible even in passing, yet he was alone, limping and bruised. And I let him walk by without moving. Not helping. Not asking if he was okay. Just watching.

I loathe myself for that now. I wish I had run right up to him the first time I saw him. But I didn't. I just watched. Watched him walk by for the first time, and in the coming weeks when I saw him again, riddled with a split lip in place of a limp I did nothing. Nothing again, when he wore dark sunglasses, even in the fading afternoon sun. Nothing when he walked holding his ribs. For weeks I did nothing. But I could not forget. He possessed my thoughts.

It must have been a couple months in, that I finally built my courage to approach him. I waited leaning against a fence. I knew his route by now, having seen the boy walk this way each afternoon. I moved to the concrete pavement as he approached, watching how he favoured one arm as if his elbow pained him.

When he drew near, he stopped, bending his head up from the ground to discern the body who blocked his way. My palms were clammy as soft green eyes met mine. He had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I had never found eyes beautiful before, or even really entertained the notion that eyes could be beautiful. Yet weeks after this encounter, they would haunt my dreams. Staggeringly beautiful. Ethereal. Yet sad. So very sad. The eyes of someone whose spirit had been stamped out. Somehow I had managed to keep my cool.

"If you ever need help, I'm here," I had said, and then moved to the side of the path to allow him to pass.

His eyes had widened for a moment, but he said nothing. Just lowered his head back down, favoured hand gripping the strap of his school bag a little tighter, and walking off. I watched him go, conflicted as to whether I should feel pleased to have said something, or if I had somehow failed.


I found myself back in the same spot the next day. He looked at me strangely as he walked past, but he didn't stop and he didn't say a word.

The next afternoon I was back again, but he still didn't look at me, keeping his gaze down. Nor did he look at me the day after. I saw though, the new bruises on his cheek.

Weeks rolled by. Sometimes I said hi, other days I waved. Often he wouldn't look at me, and I learned that was the sign that he had some new mark or injury he didn't want to display. Never once did he say something back.

And so the ritual continued, each day I would wait for him, wondering what new malady ailed him, my presence a silent offering. On and on it went until the day came, when he did not show.

I had waited until well after the night fell, and only the rain sent me in. The next day he did not show either. Nor the one after that. It was four days until I saw him next. My heart had soared with joy when I glimpsed his familiar lithe build drawing closer. But then it plummeted.

He was on crutches, one knee wrapped in what looked like self-wound yellow duct-tape. His lips were split and scabbed, arms covered in bruises, making a slow pace up the path. I didn't wait for him to draw near. I walked up to him. I almost wished I hadn't. He looked worse close up. Wincing at the pain he must have been in, I stood in his way. He would not walk past today.

Those green eyes fixed on mine. They were puffy. The boy must have cried that day.

"Let me carry your bag for you," I had said. How I thought that one up I wasn't sure, but as soon as I had said it, I was adamant that was what I would do. I would not move unless he gave me the bag.

Green eyes dissected my own, and he bodily tried to move around me, but I just shifted blocking his path once more. Two more times he tried to move around me, but I was not going to relent until he accepted my help. Eventually the boy just frowned at my wilful disobedience, and dropped one of his crutches, awkwardly trying to shuffle it off his back. My hand was slapped away when I tried to aid him, and unceremoniously the schoolbag was dropped to the ground.

I accepted the item onto my back. It was heavier than I thought it would be. The pity must have showed on my face, as the boy looking down at the ground once more, hobbling forward slowly, me as his ever present shadow.

We walked in silence. I wanted desperately to engage him in conversation, but just couldn't start. Was there anything I could really say to him? Every topic just seemed insufficient and crude. So I just walked, as much absorbed by my thoughts as I'm sure he must have been with his.

After a time, maybe a half-hour he stopped. We were outside a house. It seemed a nice enough place. A well kept front yard, a fishing boat visible in the back. The boy shuffled his shoulders awkwardly, glancing at me, and then away.

"This the place, huh?" I murmured. He nodded in reply, not looking at me.

"Do you want me to carry your bag in?"

Another shake of the head. He shuffled his crutches around again, to balance, hand outstretched in silent request. I shifted to his side to slip his bag over a shoulder. He flinched as my fingers brushed him.

"I'll see you again tomorrow," I promised pretending not to have noticed the reaction to my accidental touch. I wasn't sure of the particular reason he flinched away from me, but no explanation boded well in my mind.

"Bye then. Until tomorrow," I said turning. A soft whisper reached my ears and I spun around, but the boy was making his way to the door. After observing him for a few moments, I too walked away, wondering if the soft word of 'thanks' had been real, or imagined.


Things fell into a pattern after that. I would wait after school until he had finished to carry his bag home for him. He never said anything, I did all the talking. Usually just about my day at school. I learned not to expect an answer from him, and he never gave one. But he would listen intently to everything I said, head bowed.

I tried to avoid talking about his injuries where possible. The boy would shrink away from me whenever conversation started to drift over to his injuries or the origin. I tried to respect this no matter how much it pained me, but sometimes I couldn't avoid it.

One afternoon when he showed with a freshly cut lip, I sprung into action. With concern I called him to accompany me behind a tree. Although visibly unnerved at my request, he followed. Digging into my own bag, I pulled a tube that I had filched from a first aid kit for exactly this purpose.

Uncapping it, I squeezed the antiseptic gel onto a finger and faced the boy. Beautiful green eyes watched me warily.

"May I?" I asked cautiously, indicating his lip. The boy swallowed nervously, deciding for long moments whilst I waited patiently. Well outwardly patiently anyway. At last he nodded.

With a supportive smile, I gently applied the cream to the cut, noting that he had barely flinched. Apart from the small injury, I could only marvel at how smooth his lips were. It was with reluctance that I withdrew.

"There. Does that feel better?"

He nodded slightly, a slight flush to his face, no doubt embarrassed at having someone else do this. Not that I minded though. It was times likes this I was struck once again by how beautiful he was. The cream went to my pocket.

"Ty."

My head rocketed up.

"What?" I ask startled. He swallowed.

"My name. Ty."

I stare at him in bewilderment. He actually spoke. I can't believe it. He starts to look uncomfortable at my silence, trapped between me and the tree trunk.

"Ty-huh," I say when I eventually snap back to my senses. I grin an ear-splittingly wide smile.

"A pleasure to meet you Ty. My name is Luke."


Three months go by.

I walk Ty home every day. He still doesn't say much, but does give nods and various affirmative or negative sounds to most of my questions. For the most part I enjoy our time together.

I talk about my day, rant about life and so on. He listens attentively, and when he is injured, lets himself be pulled behind a tree or bush and get fussed over by the mother-hen I had somehow let myself become. To my relief though, the injuries don't seem to be as frequent as they once were. I'm almost disappointed that I don't get to touch him as much. Almost.

Walking beside him I clear my throat.

"Ty, would you like to spend the night at my place?"

His head shoots up to look at me startled. It's my turn to feel embarrassed. I'd been wanting to ask him around for quite a time, but hadn't quite had the courage. Though why a 'no' to that question terrified me so, was something I wasn't quite yet ready to face.

The boy doesn't answer me though, turning his head back to the pavement. I wait inwardly squirming as we walk. It takes a minute or so for the other teen to turn back to face me and nod. I exhale a breath I didn't know I had been holding, feeling both relief and joy in equal measures.

"Awesome!" I'd exclaimed, brainlessly prattling off a bunch of crap that we could do together.

"How about tonight?"

The boy looks startled, surprised no doubt at so near an offer. Biting his lip he eventually nods, making a gesture that I take to mean he needs some things from his house first. Grinning like a lunatic I accompany him to his door, and wait for him. He returns minutes later, bag bulkier, but otherwise the same. With a nod I lead him off to my house.


We have fun. Well I do, and I think he does too. He's rather wary of the unfamiliar surrounds, looking like he half expected a monster behind every corner. But I was pleased to see that he settled by-in-large, after a few hours of Video-games. He's not very good, sadly. But he learns fast.

"Ready to hop to it?" I eventually ask. "It's getting late."

Green eyes look at me in a stricken fashion, biting his lips hesitantly.

"What?" I ask, eyeing the strange expression he gives me, as he steps up close to me. He leans in and soft lips brush mine. My eyes threaten to pop clear out of my skull.

"Mmm," I moan, starting to react and kiss the boy, but the rationale part of my brain seizes control, and severs the connection backing away.

"Ty! What the hell!"

He looks stricken shrinking away from me rapidly until, back hitting to wall, he had nowhere to go. Green eyes are wide in fear.

"Ty, What? Why?" I gasp, bewildered. The beautiful boy flinches, tilted his head away, eyes clenched, unable to look at me.

"You said. You said..." he stuttered out, tears forming in his eyes.

"I said what?" I ask, hands to my lips, wondering what the hell he was on about. But then it hits me. It couldn't be that surely.

"Ty. When I asked did you want to spend the night...did you think I meant doing ...that?"

The boy's eyes snap open and he stares at me, face aflame. My eyes bulge.

"Oh," I say eventually. "Ohhhh!" I flush red.

"Um... I didn't mean that, I just meant a sleep over. Play video games and um yeah. Not that I wouldn't like that and your lips are awesome and um everything, but yeah. Um. Shit."

I'm not sure which one of us would be more red in the face. Eventually though, I decide to bite the bullet.

"Hey um...Ty" I ask, stepping up to the boy. "Do you um...Like me in that uh...way."

Ty flushes, but nods, not meeting my gaze. In any other situation I'd be bloody dancing in joy, but instead I clear my throat.

"Well I uh... Like you...really like you too. And if you wanna do stuff, um... not that, that! but um... hugs and stuff. I'm okay with it. More than okay. Just what we're both comfortable with."

The boy nods still red, biting his lip. After a pause he looks up.

"Can I..." he mutters green eyes boring holes into my soul.

"Yes," I agree automatically. Whatever it is, I'm happy to help.

He steps up to me cautiously, hesitating, but I guess his intent, and draw him into a gentle hug. He rests stiffly for several seconds, but eventually relaxes with a sigh, resting his head on my chest. I don't know what he's feeling, but it feels pretty damn nice on my end.

"Good?" I ask.

"Mmm."

"Me too," I concur. I press a kiss the top of his forehead, and reluctantly separate.

"You can have the bed," I proclaim. "I'll take the couch."

He seems a little uncomfortable with the idea of using my bed, but I insist.

All in all though, the sleepover went pretty well.


The next day I walk him back to his house before school. We are both a little quiet after the evening's misunderstanding, but that didn't stop him from seeking a comforting hug from me as we left my house. From my perspective though, if that was what a measly hug felt like, I couldn't wait until we got into more pleasurable territory. Not that I thought that would happen anytime soon, just. Wow.

When we got to his house, I waited politely outside his front fence as he swapped his belongings. Five minutes later though, when he still hadn't returned I approached the door. It was then that I heard shouting.

"Where the fuck have you been you little shit! You think this is a hotel I'm fucking running for you!"

The sound of a blow and a pained cry had me bursting through the door. Ty was on the ground cowering, knees up to his chest in the fetal position, a swelling red mark across his cheek. A large man stood over him.

"Who the fuck are you and what are you doing in my house!" the man roared at Luke.

"Did you hit him!" I exclaimed back.

"Mind your own fucking business. How I discipline my own son is none of your god damn concern."

My eyes bulge. I see red. Before I'm aware of it, I'm on top of the man, pounding the living shit out of him.

"Luke!" a voice calls in fear, I look up. Ty is holding his cheek looking fearful. I glance down. I'd bloodied my fists beating the piece of shit senseless. The man was bleeding from the nose, his lips busted up. I shovelled down the urge to punch him more.

Although he had never admitted it aloud, Luke hadn't allowed himself the thought that someone had been hurting Ty. He had pretended the boy was hurting himself. As sick as that sounded, he just thought that was the natural origin of the injuries. Just a loner not wanting to talk about how he got them. He never imagined it would be the boy's own father hurting him.

"Come on!" I announce sharply, taking his hand in mine and pulling him from the house.

"I won't let that bastard touch you again."

I would protect this boy from everything. No matter what.


Two Years Later

My eyes flick open in the early morning light, drawn awake by the lithe boy snuggling himself tighter in my arms as he slept. I wrap my hand around his hip and pull him tighter, sighing, eyes slipping shot.

Cuddles weren't as good as sex, but they were still pretty nice.

True to my word I had never let Ty's father touch him. The boy had moved in with me, my family readily accepting the new member once I had explained the situation.

The first few weeks after Ty had moved in, I had expected his father to show up at the door suddenly, but as time went on I knew he never would. From the few pieces the smaller boy had told him, it was easy to see that the man would never care enough to look for Ty. Some of things he did to his own son were unspeakable.

Karma's a bitch though. Not long after Ty had related a particularly horrible deed by the man, than I had a visit from the police. Apparently Ty's father's kneecaps had been smashed in by a masked kid with a crowbar. The man labelled me as a suspect. The officer told me not to be concerned though. This sort of case tended to stay unsolved. Funnily enough, I thought so too.

"Mmm."

Ty was waking up. I brush my lips past his shoulder and he sighs heavily. My fingers skirt around some greying bruises on his hips.

"Nnnn." Green eyes look up into my eyes.

"Can I?" he asks, hands drifting down between my legs.

Strangely, Ty still gets bruises. Just that these ones come from passionate love-making. I position myself on top of him.

I'll spare you the graphic details but, but all in all though, the sleep-in went pretty well.

THE END


Author's Note:

Thanks for reading. I bought a tablet a few days ago and wanted to write something spontaneous on it to test the virtual keyboard. This isn't it. I was successfully distracted away from that particular story. But I did write this one to test the bluetooth keyboard I also bought. The keyboard works well. :)

Anyway this was just a quick little unplanned one-shot idea that I wrote up over a few hours. Let me know what you think.

Until next time.

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Any comments and constructive feedback welcome.